In 2014, a total of 1,835 inhabitants of the Netherlands ended their own lives, on average five people a day. Statistics Netherlands reports that the number of suicides did not increase for the first time in years.
Slightly fewer men, more women
The annual total number of suicides had been going up since 2007, but this trend came to a halt in 2014. The total of 1,835 is nearly 500 higher than in 2007. Compared to 2013, there was a slight decrease among men, but a slight increase among women. Most suicides were committed by men. Related to the Dutch population, the suicide figure was 14.9 per 100 thousand male inhabitants and 6.9 per 100 thousand female inhabitants.
Six in ten were middle-aged
Nearly six out of every ten suicides was committed by people aged between 40 and 65. In 2014, there were relatively more cases in the older group aged 50 tot 65, namely 19.2 per 100 thousand versus 13.2 in 2000. In contrast, the figure among people over 80 was down from 17.7 to 12.7.
Highest suicide rate in the north of the Netherlands
The suicide rate is highest in the province of Groningen, where 13.2 in every 100 thousand inhabitants ended their own lives in de period 2010/2014. In other northern provinces, too, suicide rates are higher than the national average of 10.4. The rate is lowest in Flevoland and Utrecht: out of every 100 thousand inhabitants, fewer than 9 committed suicide. Among the four largest cities in the Netherlands, only Amsterdam has a suicide rate which is much higher than the national average.
Most suicides are by hanging
Over 50 percent of the men who took their own lives in 2014, did so by hanging. Among women, 37 percent chose this method. One third chose to take a medication overdose. Nearly one in ten suicides was committed by jumping in front of a train.